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'The Aurochs:' New Age for UNCP Poets

August 28, 2001

AurochsFor the first time, students at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke crafted and published their own collection of poetry. The 52-page volume, named The Aurochs, features topics from the joys of motherhood to migraines.

The Aurochs is available through Ms. Sara Oswald or Dr. Karen Helgeson in the English Department.

The book includes 42 poems by 22 UNCP students, some who graduated last spring. Matt Manahan included three of his poems in the collection.

"It was a way to share poetry with the students on campus," he said. The project started when Manahan and seven students in a creative writing class posted their poems to a website.

Editors Andy Stamper and Steven Byrd chose pieces from the site for The Aurochs, then collected other submissions from interested poets on campus.

The Aurochs is named after an ancestor of modern-day cows. The title is symbolic because "both the word and the beast have helped make society what it is today," said Byrd, co-editor and a May graduate with a degree in English.

Sara Oswald, an English instructor and layout designer for The Aurochs, said, "Students wanted to have a magazine they could collect and publish their poems in."

The Aurochs was printed in early May, but knowledge of the poetry collection did not circulate because the release date was right before spring-semester exams.

Plans are in the works for a second edition to be published in the spring of 2002.

The Aurochs is not the only publication of the English Department although it is the only completely student produced publication. Professors annually compile a collection of the best student essays in a publication entitled, Revisions, but never has such a publication been made available for poetry.

Andrea Vukcevic is a third-year journalism student at UNCP.